Speech therapists can help build sound foundation

27th June 2003 at 01:00
CONGRATULATIONS to teacher Babs Anderson for creating such an innovative approach to sound-letter correspondence at her Liverpool school (TES, June 13).

Ms Anderson gives a clear, reproducible account of how young children can use all their senses to learn how speech sounds are made. She indicated her ideas were inspired by the observations of a speech and language therapist.

Teachers and therapists working together over emerging literacy must be encouraged more widely. Therapists have extensive knowledge of how speech sounds are formed in the mouth and use many methods, notably Metaphon, to encourage describing speech sounds.

Teachers know how young children learn to read, and methods of teaching emergent literacy in groups. The combined approaches of both professionals is invaluable, as this well constructed article so clearly shows.

Let's see more formal time resources given over to teachers and speech and language therapists working together on inspiring projects such as this.

The benefits for children's reading will be immense.

Sally Newman

Speech and language therapist teacher

School of linguistics and applied language studies, Reading University

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